Today’s Gospel reading comes from the Last Supper. Judas has just left the table and gone out into the darkness, intending to betray Jesus to his enemies. Before the night is over, Jesus will be arrested, and the next day he will be crucified. And yet, Jesus says that he is about to be ‘glorified.’ What can he mean?
Jesus’ whole life on earth was driven by his love for God the Father. He was ready to go to his death on the Cross, because this would complete his Father’s plan. The Cross was glorious because it brought about the fulfilment of God’s plan of salvation. Jesus knew that his Father would raise him up, from death to glory.
The new commandment that Jesus gives to his disciples is, ‘Love one another just as I have loved you.’ It’s an awe-inspiring commandment; Jesus went to the Cross for love of us, and he asks us to show the same love to one another. We may not have to prove our love by dying, but Jesus calls us to give our lives in love and service of others. This, the Lord tells us, is how we will be known as disciples of Christ – by our love for one another.
Congratulations to Fiona, who will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church at 10am Mass today. Please pray for Fiona and her family.
Please sanitise your hands as you enter and leave the church, and wear a face covering. If you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay at home and not come to church.
There is an ongoing collection of items for this project including: toilet rolls, biscuits, sugar, rice and tins (meat, fish, baked beans, chick peas, tomatoes etc).Please leave your donations in the labelled box in the narthex at any time. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
The May edition of our diocesan newspaper is now on sale, price £1.50, or you can read the paper online at www.northerncross.org.uk Please consider taking out a subscription (print or online) to support the Northern Cross.
The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle has the following vacancy:
Parish Secretary – 20 hours a week, Hexham, St Mary. Closing date for applications: 18 May 2022
Please visit www.diocesehn.org.uk for full details or contact us 0191 243 3301
CAFOD’s latest campaign is asking us to email the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, urging her to ensure that the UK government implements its COP26 commitments to support agricultural systems that put local communities first and protect the planet. For further information please go to https://action.cafod.org.uk/page/102736/-/1
Saturday 21st May at 12 noon, St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle. Celebrated by Bishop Robert Byrne CO. Everyone is welcome, no booking required.
Pope Francis invites Catholic communities around the world to participate in Laudato Si’ Week 2022 from May 22-29. The global event will mark the seventh anniversary of Pope Francis’ landmark encyclical on creation care and unite the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics to listen and respond to the cry of God’s creation. In our diocese, a special Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert in St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle on Monday May 23 at 7pm.
In aid of The Peru Mission. Friday 17th June at Rainton Arena, Houghton-le-Spring. The evening includes a 3-course meal, Brazilian Dance Band “Viramundo”, raffle and auction. Tickets are £60 per person. All proceeds to sponsor the work of The Peru Mission in education, healthcare and creating opportunities amongst the poor of Peru. To reserve a ticket: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 25th May at 5.30pm, in Durham Cathedral. Sung by the Cathedral Choir. Preacher: Rev Canon Prof Sarah Foot (Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History, University of Oxford.) Followed by drinks in the Cloisters. Tickets (free of charge):
St Vincent de Paul Holy Island Children’s Camp needs volunteers to provide a Christian camping experience for children from the North-East this summer. Details at https://www.svp.org.uk/microsite/holy-island
A conference organised by Durham’s Centre for Catholic Studies. 12-14 July at the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway. Details and registration at https://www.durham.ac.uk/research/institutes-and-centres/catholic-studies/about-us/events/catholicism-literature-and-the-arts-conference/
See, I am making things new… This retreat will provide an opportunity to explore and reveal the pathways through our wilderness, to notice where we have life and energy. To discern what God is making new in our lives. Led by the Minsteracres team. 20-22 May, cost £190.
Day of Prayer: This day enables you to experience different ways of praying in a beautiful setting and gives you time for quiet personal prayer. Led by the Minsteracres team. Lunch, tea and coffee are provided. Wednesday, 25 May, 10am – 4pm. Suggested donation: £30.
Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) Day of Prayer and Pilgrimage on Holy Island, led by Bishop Paul Mason on Saturday 4th June. For more information, contact Stella Maris Regional Chaplains Paul Atkinson (07906 212426) or Deacon Peter Barrigan (07713 924504).
Bede’s Island by Prof. Catherine E. Karkov, FEA (Chair of Art History, University of Leeds.) Friday 27th May at 7.30pm at St Paul’s Church, Jarrow NE32 3DZ.
Jesus Breathed On Them And Said ‘Receive The Holy Spirit.’ Led by Fr Chris Thomas. Friday 3-Sunday 5 June. Suggested donation: £190.
St Vincent de Paul Society Tyne Central Council will be holding their annual Festival Meeting at St Cuthbert’s on Sunday 22nd May. The meeting will begin with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament from 3.00pm, and there will be talks from the National Youth SVP Officer, and from Durham University SVP Conference.
Who is included in God’s Church? Today’s readings make it clear that everyone is included. In the Acts of the Apostles, we hear how Paul and Barnabas preached the Word of God as they travelled, to pagans as well as Jews. In the book of the Apocalypse, John has a vision of the Church gathered before the throne of Jesus, the Lamb of God. He sees ‘a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language.’ Everyone is welcome in God’s kingdom. Nation or race, language or tribe are not important – only faith.
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd, who knows each one of his sheep. The Church includes ‘a huge number, impossible to count;’ but the Lord knows every member of his Church by name, and he loves each one uniquely. Every sheep is precious to the Good Shepherd.
Jesus goes on to say, ‘the Father and I are one.’ Jesus’ love for God’s people flows from the love and unity of Father and Son. As members of God’s Church, we are invited to share in their love.